PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. -- Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens said yesterday that a fine and suspension stemming from his ejection from a playoff game were based on a biased account by umpires and that he believes he may be successful in his appeal of the punishment.
Clemens, who is entered in a baseball players golf tournament at Pebble Beach, said it is significant that American League president Bobby Brown has heard only one side in the case.
"We will see what happens when we tell our side of the story [to Brown and commissioner Fay Vincent]," Clemens said. "All he [Brown] has heard is the umpires' side. There were some fabrications in that report. Some things the umpires said were kind of biased and led into some things that I did."
Clemens, 28, has stuck to his story that he never swore at plate umpire Terry Cooney before his ejection in the second inning of Game 4 of the American League playoffs.
Brown announced Nov. 20 that Clemens, a two-time Cy Young Award winner, will be fined $10,000 and suspended from the first five games of the 1991 season. That means, figuring his '91 salary of $2.5 million, the five days will cost Clemens $77,160 in salary.
Asked if he realized the $87,160 total amounts to one of the
largest fines assessed an athlete in American sport, Clemens replied: "Oh, is it? Well, the fine speaks for itself. That's something we will take up and then see what happens."
Clemens will argue that Cooney misinterpreted what occurred immediately after the pitcher walked Willie Randolph in the Oct. 10 game.
"He said something to me, and I made a statement back," Clemens said. "I used [an obscenity]. I used it as an adjective. But I was shaking my head, and he thought I was shaking at him. It was about an eight-second confrontation, and then he threw me out.
"It was pretty loud in the stadium. I don't think you could really hear anything. You try your best not to show anybody up. That's a cardinal rule -- you don't show up an umpire. In the appeal, we will have all the parties involved to hash it out. Hopefully, it will be lessened to just a fine. Getting thrown out of a game is `D usually $300 or $400."
Brown noted four particular points in announcing Clemens' fine. They were physical abuse of umpire Jim Evans, threats to Cooney, oral abuse of Cooney with personal obscenities and Clemens' failure to leave the dugout after the objection.
"The dugout thing isn't a big issue," Clemens said. "I was basically sitting there in shock, toweling myself off. I didn't want to leave before the inning ended because there were a lot of
media waiting in the tunnel [to the clubhouse]." Clemens said he lTC has no regrets about his behavior during the incident. No date for his appeal hearing has been set, he said.